Alexander O. Shirley, Cricketer, Died at 89


Alexander O. Shirley died on January 4, 2016.

He was one of the British Virgin Islands sporting icons and the first sportsman to have a ground named in his honor.

After 54 years of unwavering commitment, sacrifice and dedication to cricket, Alexander retired from the sport in January 1998.

Alexander returned to the helm of the BVI Cricket Association as its fifth president seven years after he ended his illustrious career as a player and administrator, which earned him the honor of having the New Recreation Grounds named the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds in June 1988.

Alexander, a medium pace bowler who loved fielding, began playing with the Junior Cricket Club, which eventually split into the Blitz and Atomics.

After a further split, Alexander landed with the Bucks and went on to win several league titles.

In the late 1960s, Alexander – who served as the BVI’s accountant general from 1967 through his retirement in 1987 – asked the administrator about obtaining a piece of property for cricket, which became the New Recreation Grounds.

The sport was housed there for 36 years before work began on putting down a 400-meter Mondo athletic facility in 2005.

Softball was also played there from 1971 to 1979.

Alexander was a longtime BVICA secretary/treasurer and served with the association’s first president Carlton DeCastro, then Ivan Evans, and Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal – whom he served as vice president with – before taking up a presidential stint in the 1980s.

He was the secretary/treasurer during the Theodore Skeet administration when the Combined Virgin Islands entered the Leeward Islands Cricket Tournament in 1998 and played through 1990 before separate BVI and USVI teams entered in 1991.

Alexander managed the BVI team in the Leeward Islands Cricket Association tournament, and served on the LICA Board between 1991 and 1998.

Following his 1998 retirement from cricket, Alexander was asked how he’d like to be remembered.

After some thought, Alexander said he’d like to remembered by his dedication and interest in the game.

Alexander O. Shirley passed away at age 89 in January 2016.